airspace and the high seas are global environmental goods with
traditionally unrestricted access. The ensuing environmental
impact can be addressed through user charges for air- and sea-traffic.
The project assesses legal conditions for the application of
such charges in international, European Community and domestic
public goods are characteristic in that everyone has nearly
unrestricted access (so-called "open access goods"). Airspace
and the high seas are classical examples of such public goods.
Since these goods are not subject to any form of governmental
control, the rights to access and usage are insufficiently
regulated. This regulatory gap contributes to an excessive
use of such areas. As two principal forms of use of these
public goods, increasing air and sea traffic are responsible
for a substantial part of the current environmental impact.
a view to these growing environmental impacts of air and sea
traffic, different instruments of financial policy have been
discussed as a means of reducing such impacts and achieving
a more effective protection of global environmental goods.
Among the instruments are user charges at the national, European
and international level. A user charge is a financial instrument
with the following characteristics:
- the use of a certain good or
right is made conditional on the payment of a charge;
- the charge is paid in return
for access to that good or right;
- a certain behaviour should be
guided (guiding effect)
- and generate revenues for a certain
charges on global environmental goods should have an ecological
guidance effect and mobilise revenues for objectives of environmental
policy. When implementing user charges in the area of air-
and sea-traffic, the following options are available:
- a levy on passenger tickets or
- fees on waterways and airports
- earmarked charges on kerosene
- distance-based tolls
- the introduction of an emission-based
user charge, especially for CO2 emissions (CO2 charge).
backdrop, the project will assess the legal framework governing
the introduction of user charges in air- and sea-traffic.
To this end, it draws on European Community law, international
law, and constitutional law, with a focus on the former. The
legal analysis comprises general issues raised by the implementation
of user charges for global environmental goods, as well as
specific issues relating to the design of user charges for
air- and sea traffic. An outcome of this analysis will be
specific and feasible recommendations for action.